Psalm 111:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 4. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered. He meant them to remain in the recollection of his people, and they do so: partly because they are in themselves memorable, and because also he has taken care to record them by the pen of inspiration, and has written them upon the hearts of his people by his Holy Spirit. By the ordinances of the Mosaic law, the coming out of Egypt, the sojourn in the wilderness, and other memorabilia of Israel's history were constantly brought before the minds of the people, and their children were by such means instructed in the wonders which God had wrought in old time. Deeds such as God has wrought are not to be admired for an hour and then forgotten, they are meant to be perpetual signs and instructive tokens to all coming generations; and especially are they designed to confirm the faith of his people in the divine love, and to make them know that the Lord is gracious and full of compassion. They need not fear to trust his grace for the future, for they remember it in the past. Grace is as conspicuous as righteousness in the great work of God, yea, a fulness of tender love is seen in all that he has done. He treats his people with great consideration for their weakness and infirmity; having the same pity for them as a father hath towards his children. Should we not praise him for this? A silver thread of lovingkindness runs through the entire fabric of God's work of salvation and providence, and never once is it left out in the whole piece. Let the memories of his saints bear witness to this fact with grateful joy.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 4. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered. The memorials of the Divine benefits are always valued greatly by a grateful heart, as making present with us the things which transpired ages before: such under the Old Testament was the sacrament of the paschal Lamb; but now the sacred Supper under the New Testament. Therefore, whatever recalls the Divine works to the memory, e.g. the ministry of the church, also the Sacred Scriptures, are worthy of the highest reverence. --Martin Geier.

Verse 4. The sweet spices of divine works must be beaten to powder by meditation, and then laid up in the cabinet of our memories. Therefore, says the psalmist here, God hath made his wonderful works to be remembered; he gives us the jewels of deliverance, not (because of the commonness of them) to wear them on our shoes, as the Romans did their pearls; much less to tread them under our feet; but rather to tie them as a chain about our necks. The impression of God's marvellous acts upon us must not be like that which the stone makes in the water, raising circles, beating one wave on another, and for a time making a noise, but soon after it sinks down, and the water returneth to its former smoothness; and so we, while judgment is fresh, are apt to publish it from man to man, but soon after we let it sink into the depth of oblivion, and we return to our old sins. -- Abraham Wright.

Verse 4. Made his wonderful works to be remembered. The most amazing perverseness in man is proven by the fact that he does not remember what God has so arranged that it would seem impossible that it should be forgotten. --William S. Plumer.

Verse 4.

For wonderful indeed are all his works,
Pleasant to know and worthiest to be all
Had in remembrance always with delight. --John Milton.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 4. The compassion of the Lord as seen in aiding the memories of his people.

Verse 4-5. God's marvels ought not to be nine day wonders.

  1. It is God's design that his wonders should be remembered, therefore,

    1. He made them great.
    2. He wrought them for an undeserving people.
    3. He wrought them at memorable times.
    4. He put them on record.
    5. He instituted memorials.
    6. He bade them tell their children.
    7. He so dealt with them as to refresh their memories.
  2. It is our wisdom to remember the Lord's wonders.

a. To assure us of his compassion: "The Lord is gracious." b. To make us consider his bounty: "he hath given meat." c. To certify us of his faithfulness: "he will ever be mindful of his covenant." d. To arouse our praise: "Praise ye the Lord."